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March 21, 1996


By CBR Staff Writer

At first blush, Japan and Brazil would appear to have little in common, but the two countries actually have close historical links. There is a significant Japanese community in Brazil, consisting largely of the children and grandchildren of Japanese that emigrated to Brazil in the 1930s to escape hard economic times at home, but their families have retained links back home that continue today. But there is no room for sentiment in business, and the Japanese government has turned down a request from Brazilian communications minister Sergio Motta for a $2,000m credit line for telecommunications projects in Brazil from Japan’s Eximbank, reports Brazilian newspaper Gazeta Mercantil. Reasons for the refusal are believed to include the last-minute nature of the application, and lack of detail for exactly how the money would be spent. The Japanese are also said to be suspicious of Motta’s motives: he is a potential canditate for Mayor of Sao Paulo and might be looking to score points for his campaign. There is also confusion about why he would be asking for a line of credit when he is expected to be stepping down from his position in April. Brazil’s president Cardoso will be in Tokyo this month to sign other contracts with the Eximbank and the Overseas Economic Co-operation Fund and Motta had been hoping that the telecommunications credit line agreement could be signed at the same time.

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